CLC Files Complaint Against Trump Campaign for Hiding $170 Million in Spending from Donors and Voters

Donald Trump at a podium surrounded by supporters
President of the United States Donald Trump speaking with supporters at a Make America Great Again campaign rally at International Air Response Hangar at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport in Mesa, Arizona. Photo by Gage Skidmore.

Campaign Legal Center (CLC) filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) against President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign and joint fundraising committee on July 28, 2020. The campaign and its committee violated the law by laundering nearly $170 million in campaign spending through firms headed by Trump’s former campaign manager, Brad Parscale, and other firms created by Trump campaign lawyers. 

The campaign reported millions in payments--American Made and Parscale Strategy—which disbursed the funds to the campaign’s ultimate vendors. Ultimately, this hid millions in payments to companies engaged in significant work for the campaign, as well as payments to Trump family members or associates like Lara Trump and Kimberly Guilfoyle.

Graphic depicting the flow of money from the Trump campaign to Parscale's firms and then on to various unknown vendors

 This scheme flies in the face of transparency requirements mandated by federal law, and it leaves voters and donors in the dark about where the campaign’s funds are actually going.

This secrecy could also disguise other campaign finance violations, but we don’t know, because the campaign isn’t disclosing these routed payments. CLC has asked the FEC—the only federal agency dedicated to enforcing our laws governing presidential campaigns—to take action.  

This illegal conduit scheme leaves voters in the dark about the entities working for the Trump campaign, the nature of their services, and the full amount they are paid. We don’t know all of what is being hidden by this scheme, but we do know that it violates the law.

Voters have a right know how campaigns are spending money to influence elections.

Read the full complaint.